Enjoying the outdoors during the sunniest months has so many benefits for our wellbeing but it’s also critical to safeguard our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Daily sunscreen use is the most effective form of skin care and can prevent serious damage. Skin is the body’s largest organ, after all; on average, it covers about 20 square feet! Here are a few sunscreen reminders for protecting your skin.

  1. Purchase broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen. The sun protection factor (SPF) number on your sunscreen means it provides many times the length of protection by healthy skin.
  2. Rub in sufficient sunscreen (1 ounce or two tablespoons) 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Tip: For young kids, apply sunscreen once they are in their car seat to prevent avoidance. For older kids, use a pump bottle or stick-style to make it easier for self-application.  Even if you purchase spray sunscreen, you should still rub it in.
  3. Reapply roughly every two hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., or right after swimming or sweating.
  4. Wear protective clothing with sunscreen properties, wear a hat and seek shade.
  5. Even if you’re not heading to the beach, wear sunscreen daily; some UV rays may penetrate vehicle glass on your workday commute. High altitudes or proximity to the equator also increase skin damage risk.
  6. Heat can damage sunscreen; wrap your sunscreen in a towel to preserve its protective properties.
  7. Clean your skin before sleep to prevent clogged pores and skin dehydration.
  8. Follow the marked expiration date or write your purchase date on the bottle. Sunscreen is good for three years, even if opened.
  9. Toss any sunscreen if its contents have separated, if it has changed color or if it has a different odor.


“Does Sunscreen Expire?”, Olivia Munson, usatoday.com, May 29,2023.

“How to Apply Sunscreen,” Rose Maura Lorre, nytimes.com, May 1, 2023.

“Does A High SPF Protect My Skin Better?”, skincancer.org, May 1, 2023.[JW5]